Consistent Onboarding

Develop a consistent onboarding experience. We've broken this part down into three pieces to help you digest the information and stay organized through the process:

  • before date of hire
  • on date of hire
  • and after date of hire

Your new team member needs to know their role, know who they should be communicating with and reporting to, and start to feel like part of the team right away. So, the first week or two of their time with your company really sets the tone for the rest of their career with you. 

Let's take a look at before date of hire. Prepare your team. Your team should know the start date of their new team member and how they can contribute into letting that new team member know that they have a new home and are very welcome to be there. Your team should also know your vision for this new hire and their main responsibilities, in addition to how your current team's roles have changed. Before your new hire's date of hire, go ahead and prepare training binders. Once you get organized, this will become systematic as you standardize your process. Prepare a training itinerary. So, what is the new hire going to be doing on the date of hire and after? Having this organized is going to be beneficial to both you as a manager, and the rest of the team.

Communication – Give your VIP a special welcome! You can have the entire team sign a card to welcome them to the office before their date of hire. You can even give them a special gift or decorate their workspace to make them feel at home.

Another thing you need to do is get all the paperwork together that they'll need to start with your company. This includes forms like the I-9, W-4, and emergency contact form. We'll go over that shortly. Finally, prepare a VIP workspace. No one likes to arrive at a new job and feel like they're stuck in a corner or don't know where to put their belongings. 

Next, on date of hire. On the date of hire, have your team give your VIP a special welcome! They can even send them a welcome email, so that when they log on to their email, it's flooded with positive messages from their team. This also allows your VIP to get to know the personalities of their teammates. Reserve orientation space and a laptop. If you'll be going over your employee handbook or diagrams with your new employee that require a whiteboard or chalkboard or extra space, be sure you have that space accounted for and cleaned up. If your new hire will be spending time on a laptop, ensure you aren't scrambling at the last second and interfering with patient care or workflow to provide that training laptop to them. In some cases, your VIP might be issued a laptop for continuous daily use. Follow orientation itinerary. This is key to help you and your team stay on track and to help your VIP feel like there's a sense of organization and professionalism on their first day.

Ensure paperwork for employee file is accounted for and valid. They should have returned the necessary paperwork such as W-4, I-9, etc., to you prior to their first day and at the latest on the morning of their first date of hire. Be sure you look at this information to ensure all the forms of ID are valid and all of the information on the forms of ID are also valid and not expired. Then, you can put that paperwork into the employee file and you'll add to this file in the future.

Lastly, be consistent. This goes back to creating a sense of comfort and creating an environment of professionalism within your office. So, if your employee handbook state that your employees cannot use their cell phone during business hours, it's important not to let your VIP cross the line on their first day. Be consistent with breaks, lunchtimes, and all the rules that you expect your VIP to follow. 

Next, after the date of hire. Follow your training itinerary. This is important. Stay in tune with your team. Let your team know what your VIP is up to and where they should be at all times. Make sure your team knows what you expect of them. If the VIP is not actively participating in training. Ensure that extra talk is not being engaged in. You have a schedule and you do need to stick to this. There will be other times such as lunch and breaks for your VIP can chat with the rest of your team. Encourage questions. One of the things I like to do, for my VIP's first week especially, is provide them with a notepad and have them write down questions as they come up. Each time a new hire has a question, they might not be able to ask it right away, so have them write down this question and then as you go through your itinerary, provide checkpoints to encourage conversation and address the questions the VIP has.

Reinforce expectations. If your VIP is late to work, ensure that you follow up with that immediately and not let this become an ongoing habit. Other examples include: excessive chitchat among the team and also attitude towards patient care. Patients come first. Ensure anytime a patient is present, your new hire is attentive and smiling and ready to help. Body language is 80% of communication. So, if your patients see one of your team members relaxing or not paying attention, they're going to interpret that as if that person does not care. They might not realize that this person has just started with your company. So, ensure your new hire knows how to behave around your patients.

Finally, productivity and retention. You're really going to set the tone for how productive your new hire will feel they need to be. So, reinforce positive habits and address any bad habits immediately to get your new hire moving in the right direction, to help them become very productive and a valuable team member going forth.